You think the moment you and your partner decide it’s time to have a family that it will happen instantly. Unfortunately it’s just not that easy for everyone, myself included. I wanted to share my story of infertility and infant loss in hopes that it can help someone else.
In 2011 my husband and I decided we wanted to start a family and began trying for a baby. After trying for about a year with no luck I spoke to my OB who suggested I take Provera (to get a period) and Clomid (to ovulate). For some reason after stopping the birth control pill I wasn’t getting a period on my own. I did that for 3 months and still nothing so she suggested we see a fertility specialist. Since I had a few issues working against me we did not want to waste any time and we decided to do IVF. In March of 2013 we did our first IVF cycle. It was a lot of work, a lot of appointments and a lot of medication, but we were lucky that on the first try it worked!
I found out I was expecting a little boy and everything was going great. I felt good and had no problems at all, so I thought. At 36 weeks and 5 days I was rushed to the emergency room and had to have an emergency C-section. When I woke up I learned that my beautiful boy had to be resuscitated and we were both transferred to another hospital. After 2 days of intense testing we learned that he had suffered brain damage, amongst having a lot of other problems. If he survived he would suffer from many severe handicaps. He was so sick and we couldn’t stand to put him through any more misery, so at just 2 days old we decided to take him off of life support. We held him for 5 hours until he took his last breath. It was the worst time of my life and the best time of my life all rolled into one. The next morning all I heard was babies crying. I was discharged and left the hospital without my baby, with empty arms. Did this just all really happen? Why did this happen to us? Were we being punished for something? Babies aren’t supposed to die, especially my baby. I felt like I was living a nightmare.
I don’t think I fully comprehended what had happened until I went home and had to look at an empty nursery, and all of the baby things scattered throughout the house. I was fully ready for my baby boy and everything was set around the house for him. The next couples of months were just a blur. The pain and emptiness that you feel after losing a child is unbearable. You just can’t imagine going on with your life. Why is he gone? Why am I still here? It just doesn’t make sense. It should have been me instead of him. You become severely depressed and full of anxiety. Seeing everyone go on with their lives while yours has completely stopped is very difficult. You can’t help but be jealous of every pregnant woman you see.
The truth is nothing will ever be the same again, especially holidays. Instead of making him his Easter basket I decorate his grave. Instead of planning his birthday party I am releasing balloons and baking a cake in honor of him for my husband and I to eat by ourselves. All I have left of him is small memory.
I later learned that he had Velamentous Cord Insertion (with possible Vasa Previa), basically his umbilical cord was not inserted properly into the placenta. It is something that is easily diagnosed via ultrasound in the second trimester. The blood that I had lost prior to going to the emergency room was his, a blood vessel from his cord ruptured, that is why he had suffered such severe damage. Had it been diagnosed his outcome would have been very different, and more likely than not he would have been fine.
I want everyone that is experiencing their own kind of loss to know that slowly as time goes on, you will be okay. The biggest thing that helped me was talking to other women that have been through similar circumstances. That and just letting time pass. No your life will never be the same again, but you do learn to go on. You don’t ever get over it, or through it, but you learn to live with it. I promise you that you will laugh and be happy again. You will even be able to think about your baby and talk about them without crying. You just start to live a new normal, and your loss becomes a part of you. That baby will always be your child and no one can take that away from you.
Where am I now? Well as soon as I was medically cleared we started trying again right away. This time the infertility issues were even worse. My next IVF cycle was a chemical pregnancy, and I had multiple failed attempts after that. We tried using a surrogate and that didn’t work either. The first attempt failed and the with the second attempt the embryo didn’t survive the thaw. We then decided we were solely going to focus on adoption it happened. I was pregnant ……naturally!
In August 2015 I was blessed with another beautiful little boy. I had a planned c-section and everything went perfectly. He is now 2 years old and he absolutely lights up our lives, he is our everything. He in no way replaces my first born son but he definitely has made my days easier and brighter.
Yes this journey is a difficult one, whether its infertility or loss, or both. I believe the best things in life are worth fighting for, so that’s exactly what we have to do. Don’t ever give up or lose hope. xo